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Insurer Malpractice Claims Against Defense Counsel: Recognizing, Defending, and Preventing Potential Claims

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will guide insurance defense counsel through the increasingly important topic of insurer claims against defense counsel for legal malpractice committed while defending the insured. The program will review common errors, whether a cause of action exists and who may assert it, how liability is established, whether and how work restrictions and counsel guidelines imposed on defense counsel affect liability, how damages are proved, and whether and how the attorney-client privilege or work product protection of the insured affects the case.


Insurance defense firms face an accelerating risk of legal malpractice claims from the insurers that retain them as well as excess carriers. Recent market research reveals that the severity of malpractice claims is spiking due to increased costs and the complexity of claims.

A growing number of states allow insurers to sue defense counsel, but the theories of liability and defenses vary by jurisdiction. This creates a complicated set of considerations for courts that must consider the applicable law, the relationship between the parties, and relevant policy language.

Establishing liability and proving damages may be further complicated by work restrictions and counsel guidelines as well as the attorney-client privilege or work product protection of the insured.

Listen as this experienced panel shows insurance defense counsel the perils of insurer claims against defense counsel, discusses what kinds of errors give rise to claims, and offers strategies for preventing them.



  1. Common errors and strategies for avoiding them
  2. Theories of liability
    1. The tripartite relationship theory
    2. Third-party beneficiary
    3. Equitable subrogation
    4. Restatement (third) of the law governing lawyers
  3. Defenses and related considerations
    1. Work restrictions and counsel guidelines
    2. Attorney-client privilege or work product protection
  4. Damages


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the main theories of liability asserted against defense counsel?
  • What errors most often give rise to legal malpractice claims and how can defense firms prevent them?
  • Do the attorney-client privilege or work product protection affect defenses?


Berman, Kimberly
Kimberly K. Berman

Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin

Ms. Berman is a shareholder in the firm's Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice Group in the Professional...  |  Read More

Guerra, Jennifer
Jennifer M. Guerra

Stites & Harbison

Ms. Guerra's practice has focused exclusively on civil litigation and litigation-related issues, including the...  |  Read More

Jacobus, Alan
Alan P. Jacobus

Alan P. Jacobus, Attorney at Law

Mr. Jacobus' practice over the past decade has largely centered on high risk, high value insurance coverage...  |  Read More

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